The Full Wiki

More info on Blue of Noon

Blue of Noon: Wikis

  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Blue of Noon (French: Le Bleu du Ciel) is a transgressive novella of erotic fiction written in 1935, and its French author, Georges Bataille was a desperate anti-fascist, as can be seen from the content of this particular work. Harry Matthews translated it into English in 1978. Dennis Hollier, among others, have noted that the novel is a modern adaptation of the story of Don Juan.

Plot summary

Henri Troppmann goes from his sick-bed in Paris to Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War in time to witness the first General Strike of the Catalans against the Spanish. He is torn between three different women, all of whom arrive in the city at that time. One of them, Lazare, is a Marxist Jew and political activist, who is preparing herself for prospective torture and martyrdom at the hand of General Francisco Franco's troops if she is captured. "Dirty" (or Dorothea) is an incontinent, unkempt alcoholic who repeatedly has sex with Troppmann. Xénie is a young woman who had previously nursed him to health during his violent fever in Paris.

The novel is introduced by a scene of extreme dereliction in a London hotel room, followed by the narrator's description of a dreamlike encounter with 'the Commendatore' (English: "the Commander"), who in the Don Juan myth is the father of one of Don Juan's victims, and whose statue returns at the end of the story to drag Don Juan down to hell for his sins. Troppmann has to choose between the abject Dirty and her associations of sex, disease, excrement and decay, the politically engaged Lazare, and her ethical values of commitment, resistance and endurance, and Xénie, who has outlived her usefulness. While looking at Lazare beneath a tree, Troppmann realises that he respects her for her social conscience, but also sees her as a rat, and chooses Dirty instead, whilst sending Xénie off with a friend, who is subsequently killed in the street. He travels with Dirty to Treves, the home-town of Karl Marx, where the two copulate in the mud on a cliff overlooking a candle-lit graveyard. They see a Hitler Youth group, lending Dirty a vision of the war to come and their probable deaths. Troppmann leaves her to return to Paris.

Interpretation

The story of the libertine Don Juan and the protective father-figure of the Commendatore are transposed by Bataille into the world of fascism in Europe in the 1930s. Bataille's own failed attempts to oppose fascism in France in the Contre-Attaque political group (which included Simone Weil, upon whom the character of Lazare is based), are dramatized in the life of the protagonist, Troppmann. Bataille's sense of hopelessness and powerlessness in the face of militarism is reflected in the conclusion of the story: the language Bataille uses to describe Troppmann's overcoming of impotence in the graveyard is recalled in his description of the obscenity of the Nazi youths' gestures. In both cases, Bataille is describing a totalitarian world where sexuality is suffused with violence and the pathological fear of, as well as attraction to, loss of control. Dennis Hollier remarks in Absent Without Leave that, where in Mozart's opera, Don Juan opposes the Commendatore as a force of sexual license against repressive authority, in "Blue of Noon" the Commendatore himself, the regime of repression itself, absorbs sexual licentiousness and becomes obscene. Sexual desire becomes desire for death; Bataille's version of Don Juan wants to be dragged down to hell.

Full of vomit, tears, screams and excretion, the novel is an allegory of the disgust, fear, sorrow and rage at a world beginning its slide into the abyss.

Bibliography


Blue of Noon (French: Le Bleu du Ciel) is a transgressive novella of erotic fiction written in 1935, and its French author, Georges Bataille was a dedicated anti-fascist, as can be seen from the content of this particular work[citation needed]. Harry Matthews translated it into English in 1978. Dennis Hollier, among others, have noted that the novel is a modern adaptation of the story of Don Juan.

Plot summary

Henri Troppmann goes from his sick-bed in Paris to Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War in time to witness the first General Strike of the Catalans against the Spanish. He is torn between three different women, all of whom arrive in the city at that time. One of them, Lazare, is a Marxist Jew and political activist, who is preparing herself for prospective torture and martyrdom at the hand of General Francisco Franco's troops if she is captured. "Dirty" (or Dorothea) is an incontinent, unkempt alcoholic who repeatedly has sex with Troppmann. Xénie is a young woman who had previously nursed him to health during his violent fever in Paris.

The novel is introduced by a scene of extreme degeneracy in a London hotel room, followed by the narrator's description of a dreamlike encounter with 'the Commendatore' (English: "the Commander"), who in the Don Juan myth is the father of one of Don Juan's victims, and whose statue returns at the end of the story to drag Don Juan down to hell for his sins. Troppmann has to choose between the abject Dirty and her associations of sex, disease, excrement and decay, the politically engaged Lazare, and her ethical values of commitment, resistance and endurance, and Xénie, who has outlived her usefulness. While looking at Lazare beneath a tree, Troppmann realises that he respects her for her social conscience, but also sees her as a rat, and chooses Dirty instead, whilst sending Xénie off with a friend, who is subsequently killed in the street. He travels with Dirty to Treves, the home-town of Karl Marx, where the two copulate in the mud on a cliff overlooking a candle-lit graveyard. They see a Hitler Youth group, lending Dirty a vision of the war to come and their probable deaths. Troppmann leaves her to return to Paris.

Interpretation

The story of the libertine Don Juan and the protective father-figure of the Commendatore are transposed by Bataille into the world of fascism in Europe in the 1930s. Bataille's own failed attempts to oppose fascism in France in the Contre-Attaque political group (which included Simone Weil, upon whom the character of Lazare is based), are dramatized in the life of the protagonist, Troppmann. Bataille's sense of hopelessness and powerlessness in the face of militarism is reflected in the conclusion of the story: the language Bataille uses to describe Troppmann's overcoming of impotence in the graveyard is recalled in his description of the obscenity of the Nazi youths' gestures. In both cases, Bataille is describing a totalitarian world where sexuality is suffused with violence and the pathological fear of, as well as attraction to, loss of control. Dennis Hollier remarks in Absent Without Leave that, where in Mozart's opera, Don Juan opposes the Commendatore as a force of sexual license against repressive authority, in "Blue of Noon" the Commendatore himself, the regime of repression itself, absorbs sexual licentiousness and becomes obscene. Sexual desire becomes desire for death; Bataille's version of Don Juan wants to be dragged down to hell.

Full of vomit, tears, screams and excretion, the novel is an allegory of the disgust, fear, sorrow and rage at a world beginning its slide into the abyss.

Bibliography








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message